Easy Espresso Hacks. Only a gourmet coffee lover knows how unbeatable an espresso is; from the time it comes piping hot through the machine, mixing its aroma with the air particles around, until it makes its way through your lips and sit low in your stomach – turning it into a journey of pure ecstasy and satiation.
But is every espresso as good as this? While it’s true that no home-made espresso can beat the one from your favorite coffee house, noting down the hacks mentioned here will help you fix the closest substitute within the convenience of your home. Check them out.
The use of pre-ground coffee is the first thing that dampens the subtle flavors you hold so dear. This is because coffee tends to go stale immediately after they’re powdered, regardless of how you store. Pre-ground coffee sits in a rack for at least a month, so they’ve gone stale already. While it’ll still taste like coffee for a quick fix, it’s not the heavenly brew people long for.
Using a burr grinder to grind your beans is as equally important as using fresh and quality beans. It’s true that blade grinders have been there on the market for a long time, doing a fine job, but burr grinders are better at maintaining the consistency of grounds. They also give you greater control on grinding finer grounds for espressos. You’d know that you’ve done it right when the ultimate grounds feel like ‘sand’ to the touch.
You could be a self-proclaimed barista in your home, who knows to handle an espresso maker even with your eyes closed. But keep in mind that even the best and the finest espresso makers need to be handled as per the instruction manual, and each machine is different. So follow it closely, and look for tips unique to your machine alone.
Tamping facilitates a complete extraction of flavors as water is distributed evenly through the grounds. It’s no biggie at all. Simply add the grounds to the filter basket, even out the surface with your fingers, and tamp it down by exerting about 30 pounds of pressure. This process will reap surprising results.
We’ve already talked about the coffee beans, so let’s now talk about the next most important ingredient that makes an espresso. The ground rule is that; lesser the minerals found in water, the better it is at extracting the flavors from the grounds. According to the Speciality Coffee Association of America, the ideal Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) composition in water should be 150 ppm. To achieve it, you can either carefully filter the water, or simply use bottled water.
The best espresso is brewed within 25-30 seconds. Make sure you maintain this every time you brew. No time shorter or longer is good, and variations could be a result of the grounds being too coarse or fine. Also, do start the cycle right after the filter is placed. Letting it sit there while you take a phone call will literally cook the coffee, lengthen the cycle and ruin the espresso.
I’d highlight this point if I could for cleanliness is something often neglected after a satiating cup of joe. Irregular and improper cleaning will eventually lead to accumulation of oils found in coffee – resulting in a rancid taste and machine breakdowns. So you need to clean it regularly and properly after each brewing cycle.
Follow these easy-peasy tips to brew just the perfect cup of coffee-house-quality espresso at home – not to mention for less than half the price. Happy brewing!
Guest Post by Dennies John